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Consumer Shopping Trends: Affluent to Give Black Friday a Pass

“Consumers’ overall assessment of economic prospects is not bad and not good. Economic stagnation is like purgatory, it is neither heaven nor hell.”

| BY Donald Liebenson

Maybe they’ve completed their shopping. Maybe they don’t like crowds. Or maybe they’re just sleeping in. Whatever the reason, a significant majority of Affluent individuals said they will be giving Black Friday a pass, according to consumer shopping trends tracked by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.

Nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) of Affluent respondents said they do not intend to shop on Black Friday. Among those who are most adamant on the subject include those with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million (80 percent, retirees (82 percent) and corporate executives (83 percent).

Waking up early and navigating throngs of shoppers is a younger person’s game, according to consumer shopping trends revealed in the survey. The Affluent respondents most likely to shop on Black Friday include those under the age of 40 (39 percent) and those between 41-50 (35 percent).

The winter holiday shopping season can account for up to 40 percent of sales, according to the National Retail Federation. But this year, the holiday shopping season runs just 27 days, the shortest stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas since 2002, the NRF observes. Retailers, too, are nervous about the consumer mindset, which might inhibit spending.

While the Thomas Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment finds a slight improvement over October to 75.1 from 73.2 last month, But this is down significantly from November 2012 when the Index was at 82.7. “The term that best fits the outlook of consumers is stagnation,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin in a statement released Wednesday. “Consumers’ overall assessment of economic prospects is not bad and not good. Economic stagnation is like purgatory, it is neither heaven nor hell.”

Black Friday is expected to attract 69 million shoppers,, according to consumer shopping trends tracked by the NRF. This represents nearly 44 percent of those surveyed.

Of the Affluent individuals who do plan to shop on Black Friday, the highest percentage (40 percent) said they plan to spend between $200 and $499. Almost one-fourth (22 percent) plan to spend between $100 and $199, while 21 percent expect to shell out at least $500.

Some approach Black Friday as a test of their ability to get the best deals. Beyond those who are wealthiest, the highest percentage of Affluent individuals surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, who plan to spend between $200 and 499 were those with the most confidence in their financial knowledge (51 percent).

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.